New York City Center

New York, NY

Performance History

From ChatGPT

The New York City Center, commonly referred to as City Center, is a historic theater located in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. It is situated at 131 West 55th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues. City Center is known for its rich history, diverse programming, and contributions to the performing arts. The theater originally opened in 1923 as a meeting hall for the members of the Ancient Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. However, it quickly evolved into a prominent venue for the performing arts. Over the years, City Center has hosted a wide range of performances, including ballets, operas, concerts, and theater productions. City Center gained significant recognition in the 1940s when it became the home of the New York City Center Ballet and the New York City Opera. These institutions brought world-class dance and opera performances to the theater, solidifying its reputation as a cultural hub. In addition to dance and opera, City Center has been a platform for various theater productions, including musicals and plays. It has showcased both classic and contemporary works, often presenting revivals of acclaimed productions. City Center is also known for hosting the annual Fall for Dance Festival, which brings together renowned dance companies from around the world for a series of performances. The theater underwent extensive renovations in the 1970s to restore its historic features while incorporating modern amenities. Today, City Center continues to be a vibrant and influential institution in the performing arts scene, offering a diverse range of programming that appeals to audiences of all ages and tastes.}


Venue Info

Built: 1923
Venue Status: year not entered yet
Demolished: year not entered yet
Seating Capacity: 2255

Location Info

131 West 55th St. (between 6th and 7th Avenues)
New York, NY
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Other Names

  • Mecca Temple (unknown)
  • City Center-55th Street Theatre (unknown)
  • New York City Center (1943)
  • Mecca Auditorium (date not entered yet)
  • City Center (date not entered yet)

Trivia & History

Contains two theatres (City Center Stage 1 and City Center Stage 2). The building, with its unique Moorish facade, was built as a Masonic Temple (home to Ancient and Accepted Order of the Mystic Shrine). It was slated for demolition in 1943 but saved by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia. The New York City Center of Music and Drama opened that same year.

Both the New York City Opera and the New York City Ballet started at City Center before moving to Lincoln Center.

In the early 1970s, it was slated for demolition again. It was saved and given landmark status. Today it is home to the Manhattan Theatre Club and City Center's Encores! series.

The 2011 renovation reduced the seating capacity from 2,750 to 2,255.

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